Deletion of atoR from Streptococcus pyogenes Results in hypervirulence in a mouse model of sepsis and is LuxS independent

Izabela Sitkiewicz, James M. Musser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a Gram-positive human pathogen that causes a variety of diseases ranging from pharyngitis to life-threatening streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Recently, several global gene expression analyses have yielded extensive new information regarding the regulation of genes encoding known and putative virulence factors in GAS. A microarray analysis found that transcription of the GAS gene M5005-Spy-1343 was significantly increased in response to interaction with human polymorphonuclear leukocytes. M5005-Spy-1343 is predicted to encode a member of the LysR family of transcriptional regulators and is located upstream of a putative operon containing six genes. Five of these genes have sequence similarity to genes involved in short-chain fatty acid metabolism, whereas the sixth gene (luxS) is found in many bacterial species and is involved in quorum sensing. Unexpectedly, inactivation of the M5005-Spy-1343 gene resulted in hypervirulence in an intraperitoneal mouse model of infection. Increased virulence was not due to changes in luxS gene expression. We postulate that short-chain fatty acid metabolism is involved in GAS pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalPolish Journal of Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Ato
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Short chain fatty acid synthesis
  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Virulence factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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